As Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders faced off in Brooklyn, about 1,000 New Yorkers rallied across the East River in Manhattan to protest Republican front-runner Donald Trump. Protesters gathered outside the Grand Hyatt Hotel, where Trump spoke at a Republican gala. Democracy Now! was there and spoke with some of the anti-Trump protesters.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: While Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debated in Brooklyn, across the East River in Manhattan there was another political event. About a thousand people rallied outside the Grand Hyatt Hotel to protest an appearance by Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump at a Republican gala. Democracy Now! was there to cover what was happening in the streets.
PROTESTER 1: We stand here today to tell Donald Trump, to tell everybody, white supremacy is not accepted in New York City. Black lives matter. Trump, you’re a capitalist. No racism in New York.
PROTESTER 2: My name is [inaudible]. I’m coming here from MPower Change. As a Muslim American, as a New Yorker, as a daughter of immigrants, we know what Donald Trump means. And we cannot stand for the continuation of these policies that are affecting our people, because when Donald Trump spouts racist rhetoric in his speeches, he’s talking directly about me, he’s talking directly about you, he’s talking directly about all of us.
PROTESTERS: Trump, KKK! Racist, sexist, anti-gay!
JAKE MAIER: My name is Jake Maier. I’m with Iraq Veterans Against the War, IVAW. I served in the Marine Corps from 2011 to 2015. And I’m here as part of the Vets vs. Hate campaign to protest the hate speech that we are seeing in this country. Donald Trump is the worst right now. Ted Cruz is also really bad, but they are just symptoms of a much larger problem, and they’re tapping into a sentiment in this country. And we, as veterans, need to speak out against hate against groups like Mexican immigrants, like women, hate speech against women, against the LGBT community, and especially hate speech against Muslims, because we know what hate speech can do, and we’ve seen firsthand the disastrous after effects.
KERBIE JOSEPH: My name is Kerbie Joseph. I’m a member of the Justice for Akai Gurley Family Committee. We’re out here peacefully. And what do they look like? Cowards! Who are they protecting? Not us. What are they standing in front of? Their property. We have to understand that it’s all connected. Racism is not different from economic injustice. It’s all part of this system called capitalism.
PROTESTERS: Hey, hey, ho, ho! Donald Trump has got to go!
JOSÉ GARCÍA: So, my name is José García, and I’m an organizer with ICE-FREE NYC. And so, I was out at the protest because Donald Trump is very anti-immigrant, and my group is a group that’s organizing for immigrant rights. This is beyond a kind of singular issue. This is a moment for communities to really come together and organize together, because that’s really what’s going to get us free. Mostly the people who are on the ground and put their bodies on the line were black, brown, indigenous, queer and trans organizers.
We live in a country where an openly racist white supremacist could potentially be the president come January. We live a country where black, brown and indigenous people leave their homes and leave their families in the morning and are not sure if they’re going to come back, because of the police. We live in a country where Immigration and Customs Enforcement regularly kidnaps people without documentation, and with no accountability whatsoever. And so, what you’re seeing across the country, in New York City and Chicago and in all these other places, is not a response to U.S. electoral politics. We’re not—we’re not organizing voters. We’re organizing people who are oppressed by a system that allows people like Trump to get really close to the presidency. So, again, we’re not responding to Trump. We’re responding to a system that allows this to happen.